Proteins, Enzymes and Amino Acids

Protein Deficient? Chances Are You Are!

Did you know that 9 out of 10 people lack the proper amount of protein in their systems in order for their bodies to function properly? Even though you may be eating a sufficient amount of protein it does not mean that your body is utilizing it. When our dietary proteins are consumed in the proper amount and balance, as well as properly digested, our bodies will create systemic proteins, which keep our bodies intact. When our diet is lacking in this essential nutrient, our pancreas will stop creating the enzymes for proper digestion, and our body will become unable to manufacture much needed systemic protein. In a very short period of time this deficiency will cause our bodies to malfunction and we will begin experiencing the symptoms of disease.

Why Is Protein Important?

Protein is throughout our body, providing structure, function, and organization. It is in our skin, nails and hair. It is in our blood, lymph, and plasma. It enables our muscles to contract. It provides integrity to the walls of our intestines. It fights infection in our body and repairs any tissue damage that occurs. It is in our bone and brain cells. It makes the enzymes that digest our food, repair damaged DNA, and regulate all chemical reactions in our body. It forms lung cells. It carries oxygen to cells. It removes toxins from the liver. It makes up all neurotransmitters except one. It maintains a proper pressure differential between the fluid inside and outside of our cells. It makes 95 percent of all hormones in the body as well as carrying hormones, vitamins, fatty acids and minerals to the cells.

Protein Turnover

The list goes on and on. The point is that when we talk about protein we are not talking about a part of the system, we are talking about the system itself. When we assimilate protein into the system daily, we are keeping the entire system intact. When we are protein deficient, we will begin to miss pieces of our system resulting in systemic malfunction. It would be as if the foundation of your house started to degrade and so the walls cracked. Then the roof tiles started to degrade and so the rain came in and rotted the floor. Then the insulation degraded and the unprotected wiring inside shorted out and set the rest of your unstable, rotting house on fire! Luckily the materials comprising your house are pretty stable and last for years before degrading. Protein, however, is not stable, it is constantly being used up and exchanged for new protein in a process called “protein turnover.” About one pound of protein a day is used up in this process, and so it needs to be replenished from the diet on a daily basis.

Here are some examples of turnover times for different body proteins:

  1. enzymes-7-10 min.
  2. insulin-30 min.
  3. liver protein-10 days
  4. muscle protein-60 days

In 1 year all the protein in our body has turned over.

How Are Proteins Made?

When dietary protein is consumed in a healthy system it is broken down by stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes into amino acids, (the molecules from which protein is made) absorbed through the small intestine, and made available to the body for systemic protein production. Literally thousands of different kinds of proteins are being manufactured constantly in our body from 20 different amino acids. The body can make 10 of these, and the other 10 are considered “essential”, meaning they must be acquired from the diet.

What Happens If You Don’t Get The Proper Amino Acids?

Amino acids must be present in the body in the sufficient quantity and proper ratio to one another in order for protein production to properly occur. Research is finding consistently, that when amino acids are low, missing or out of balance, the body will begin to malfunction. This malfunction starts with the digestive system. Poor diet as well as certain illnesses (such as alcoholism and hepatitis) cause amino acid deficiency due to pancreatic malfunction because, when the pancreas can not make digestive enzymes (remember these are made from amino acids) in sufficient quantity, dietary protein will not be broken down sufficiently to be used by the body for systemic protein production. Lack of systemic protein means the liver will start clogging with toxins, wounds will heal more and more slowly and blood sugars will be less stable. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies occur, hormones become unbalanced. The brain will cease making enough of certain important chemicals leading to mood disorders, hyperactivity, attention deficit, and depression. Immune system proteins become low diminishing the work of antioxidants, leaving the body prey to viral and bacterial infection.

How Can You Keep This From Happening?

Doc’s Aminos are a balanced blend of amino acids. When Doc’s Aminos enter the body and move through the stomach, immediate production of systemic protein begins. Pancreatic cells churn out digestive enzymes, which properly break down foods into more amino acids. Amino acids are then carried all over the body to produce the thousands of proteins necessary to sustain the structure and function of our body.

In a well functioning system the body will not over produce any of the 10 nonessential amino acids. The amino acid production process has a built in mechanism to keep this from occurring. The 10 essential amino acids in Doc’s Aminos are combined in a balanced blend to encourage optimal amino acid activity in the system. Clinical studies have consistently found that a well balanced diet supplemented with Doc’s Aminos along with the vitamin blend Bio Multi Plus and the essential fatty acid blend Platinum Flax/Borage, will maintain a healthy system and revitalize a diseased one.

Enzymes and Amino Acids

The keys to good health are an abundance of digestive enzymes and the proper digestive pH for them to perform complete digestion. Here’s how the system works:

The food goes into the mouth and gets mixed with enzymes that begin the process of carbohydrate pre-digestion in the mouth (this is why it’s so important to chew your food well.) The food travels to the upper stomach, where it sits for one hour in a relatively high pH, pre-digesting and getting ready for the more acidic pH of the lower stomach, where hydrochloric acid will begin protein breakdown and fat emulsification. Then the food enters the duodenum where pancreatic juices are supposed to raise the pH so that the pancreatic enzymes can finish the job of digestion, breaking the food down to the point that the body can use it for repair, protection, and maintenance. If the food is not fully broken down, the body will not be able to use it. If this situation continues over a period of time, chronic disease will set in. When the digestion process is complete, the small intestine will allow the food to pass through into the body where it is used to make blood, bone, muscle, hormones, enzymes, neurons, and everything else it needs. Incompletely digested food may pass through the intestinal lumen, but the body cannot use it.

Pancreatic juices

Say we have an overproduction of hydrochloric acid in the lower stomach that pours into the duodenum. This calls for an extra rich supply of sodium, potassium and bicarbonate ions in the pancreatic juice to raise the pH enough so that digestion can be successful. However, what if our diet is chronically acid, what if we are under a lot of emotional stress, or what if we take certain medications (such as antidepressants, blood pressure medicine, or diuretics.) All these are things that will leave our system poor in alkalizing elements and we will not have enough sodium or potassium for our pancreas to put in its juice. The pH of the duodenum will remain too low for optimal digestion. The enzymes that complete protein and carbohydrate digestion in the pancreas, work within a specific pH range. In the center of that range, they are at peak performance. As the pH moves to the limits of the range, their performance drops. So if we are right at the limit or just over the limit of the pH range for these enzymes, we are getting incomplete digestion activity from the enzymes. Now, if our pH goes and we can’t digest our food, then what is our body going to use to make more digestive enzymes?

Digestive Enzymes

When protein is completely broken down it becomes single amino acids, which our body uses to make, among many other things, digestive enzymes. (Amino acids also create the mineral carriers of the body so that the alkalizing minerals like sodium and potassium get where they need to go in the body, thereby protecting the pH of things like the pancreatic juice.) When protein cannot be broken down into amino acids, our body can’t use it. So, if we are making less and less digestive enzymes (as well as less and less of everything else our body needs) our food is digesting less and less. Until finally we begin to experience the symptoms of chronic illness. Fine, we say, we will take antacids to buffer our digestive pH level. Antacids will raise the pH in the stomach, which needs to be low to start protein breakdown. In this scenario, inefficiently predigested fats and proteins enter the duodenum which:

  1. is not designed to do the job of the stomach, and
  2. still doesn’t have enough enzymes to do its part of the job.

Antacids Are Counterproductive

In other words: antacids compound the problem. The digestive system is so complex that trying to control it from the outside is a losing proposition. The only way to have success is to give the body the raw materials it needs and let the digestive system heal itself. The basic raw materials for digestive enzymes are amino acids. The body makes some of these itself and has a very complicated system for keeping them in the proper balance. The amino acids that the body does not manufacture are called essential amino acids and must be supplied from outside sources. But if these are not supplied in the proper balance, the entire amino acid system will reduce in efficiency. All we have to do is figure out the essential amino acid combination that will fit into the delicate Acid/Alkaline balance the body demands in order to create the enzymes it needs!

Author: Brice Vickery, DC